Learn About/Subscribe:
Christian Union
February 16, 2016

Inter-Ministry Task Force Responds to Campus Tension

Editor's note: The following letter, reprinted from the Website www.loveforyale.com, was written by an inter-ministry task force at Yale in response to racial tension and protests on campus in the fall semester. The document was signed by over 100 Yale students and staff members from various ministries, including Athletes in Action, Living Water, Yale Christian Fellowship, Chi Alpha, Yale Graduate Christian Fellowship, Yale Faith and Action, Yale Students for Christ, Yale Gospel Choir, and United Church of Westville.

To Our Campus:

We are writing to you as a family of brothers and sisters in Christ. We have been deeply moved and affected by the pain experienced by many on our campus. We affirm that there is real, legitimate, and deep pain endured by communities of color here at Yale, not just as a result of recent events, but rather the result of lifelong experiences. We are moved by our pursuit of God to affirm the value and dignity of all people, mourn the pain and suffering of communities of color, seek justice, and promote reconciliation on campus.

We realize that this letter may be seen as disingenuous, for Christians have not always displayed the love and justice of Christ as we have been commanded. Rather than stand up for the oppressed and the broken, we have in many cases directly contributed to injustice. We confess this history and we mourn it as repugnant, to humanity and to our God.

Although we still fall short of the full expression of Christ's love and justice, we stand by the belief that our God cares for the oppressed and the downtrodden. We believe that everyone is created in God's image, and so have inherent and equal God-given worth, value, and dignity. We mourn that this truth has been distorted in various ways, including stereotyping, objectification and exotification, and a denial that these problems exist. It breaks our hearts that these problems affect the daily lives of students of color at Yale.

We believe that God intended for race and ethnicity to be gifts imparted to humanity; and like all gifts, we have twisted and corrupted them from their original intent. We all tend to regard others according to self-interest and superficial prejudices. The results, which include racism and misogyny, are symptoms of a deeper problem stemming from our separation from God because of sin. Despite our sin and because of His great love for us, God sent His own Son to restore the relationship between Himself and human beings. Jesus came and lived among us in order to show us the way to live rightly with God and live at peace with each other. He willingly and undeservedly suffered death on the cross to pay the penalty of our sin, and rose again to restore our relationship with God, and give us hope for the future. Jesus also gives us hope that, by His Spirit, we can do much better in how we treat one another, being freed by His love to no longer judge people by what we see, but to love them with the love of Jesus. It is because of our hope in Jesus Christ that we press onward, seeking justice for the oppressed and marginalized, as well as genuine reconciliation between human beings. But first and foremost, we affirm that Jesus calls us to better ourselves as instruments of His love indiscriminately to all people.

To this end, we are praying for wisdom for the administration. Reconciliation is never easy. Just as Jesus had to suffer and die unjustly to make our reconciliation with God possible, so also we believe that reconciliation on this campus will require mutual sacrifice and forgiveness. Our hope is that the whole of the Yale community maintains a disposition of humility and a willingness to sacrifice as we move forward.

We know the past few weeks have been especially difficult for the communities of color on this campus. We love and value you, and support true reconciliation. If nothing else, please know that you are loved.